Throwing away the return ticket

I got a thoughtful Christmas card from Bruce Galvin, a friend in London who I haven’t seen for some years.

Alongside the Christmas greeting he wrote the words: ‘You threw away your return ticket – most people throw away their outbound’.

A powerful comment don’t you think?

Happy in my second home

Happy in my second home

It got me reflecting about the last four years away from London.

Of course I miss my family and although we can skype it isn’t the same as giving them a hug or just physically ‘being there’ for them.

It was lovely to see my family and many friends when I visited London this summer but, overall, I am still where I need to be, in Bali, and I do not miss London itself at all.

The city is the same as it always was, but I have changed – so London doesn’t fit my needs anymore.

Sky scrapers, scraping a grey London sky

Sky scrapers, scraping a grey London sky

Who would have thought that I could have changed so drastically.  I had always loved London, its vibrancy, variety and its hustle and bustle.

You can eat the fruit of this giant plant in my garden

You can eat the fruit of this giant plant in my garden

Maybe I’ve finally grown up and opted for the quieter options in life.

Bali certainly gives warmer options too and, surprisingly for such as small place, it provides huge opportunities for personal growth, learning and most importantly fun.

Trying to get to grips with a culture as intense, and yet as playful, as Bali’s is a delightful challenge.

Dancers at a 3 month old baby ceremony

Dancers at a 3 month old baby ceremony

And I never tire of learning to think in a different colour here (Balinese philosophy gives food for thought – like these colourful rice offerings).

Colourful rice offerings - food for thought

Colourful rice offerings – food for thought

Someone at the recent Ubud Writers and Readers Festival said: ‘There’s not much inspiration for poetry in the corporate world’.  Ah, maybe that’s why I threw away the return ticket.

But it leaves the question about why so many people throw away their outbound ticket?

Travelling was the best thing I could have done.  It went way beyond all those cliches about broadening the mind – it allowed an opening of the heart.

However, I can clearly remember standing in Heathrow airport in November 2008, weighed down with a big backpack, and thinking ‘what am I doing?’  It was as scary as it was exciting –  but I didn’t recognise that I was actually on a launch pad and that I had a Ticket to Paradise.

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2 Comments

  1. oh Julie, you are so beautiful…your words really touch me…

    Reply

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